Former Summerset chief Norah Barlow to head Heritage Lifecare
By Paul McBeth
Sept. 14 (BusinessDesk) - Former Summerset Group chief executive Norah Barlow will return to the domestic aged care sector in November to head mid-market player Heritage Lifecare.
Heritage Lifecare wants Barlow to lead the company through its next stage of growth and offer her experience to a young management team. Barlow led Summerset for 12 years, including taking it public in 2011. At the time of the initial public offering, the retirement village operator was valued at $300 million and is now worth $1.73 billion. More recently, she stepped in as CEO of ASX-listed Estia Health when its founder, chief executive and chair left when the share price collapsed.
"Norah is a very, very proven operator in the sector with a very good track record in building a business," Heritage executive chairman David Renwick said. "What appealed very much to us was that she built Summerset from a small company to what it is today: a very successful public company."
Heritage Lifecare operates 30 rest homes around the country with 2,204 residents. When Australian private equity firm Adamantem Capital bought into the company earlier this year, it operated 977 care beds and 312 living units across 19 sites.
That compares to NZX-listed aged care operator Oceania Healthcare with about 3,500 residents across 51 sites.
Renwick said Adamantem won't necessarily fund future expansion, given existing and potentially new local investors are interested in participating. Heritage Lifecare has typically bought existing operations to grow and is tilted towards provincial areas.